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New Leinster centre Robbie Henshaw has confirmed that he will miss the start of the Pro 12 season.
Henshaw suffered a knee ligament tear while on Ireland duty against South Africa on 25 June, and flew home ahead of the third Test decider against the Springboks.
The 23-year-old has set himself the target of returning to fitness ahead of Ireland's Test match against New Zealand in Chicago on 5 November,
"I’d be optimistic I could aim for Chicago, or even before that, maybe for the European games in the Champions Cup," he told the 42.ie.
"I have a check-up next week with the surgeon and I’ll know more then. I’ve been told to completely switch off and keep it in the brace and not do anything really and let it mend."
Henshaw, who left Connacht at the end of last season to join Leinster, says the lateral tear in his meniscus will force him out of his new side's Pro12 opener against Treviso on 2 September, and league fixtures against Glasgow, Edinburgh, the Ospreys, Cardiff and Munster in September and October.
"After I got the scan, they told me it would be between three and four months. So I will be looking at the end of September/October," he continued.
"I was pretty shocked to hear when it happened. It’s one of my first big limb injuries so it’s not ideal and starting with a new club you want to make a massive impact from the get-go so it’s not a good start for me."
Henshaw feels the summer was "the perfect time to leave" Connacht, after the Devil's Own beat Leinster at Murrayfield in May to become Pro 12 champions, their first major title in their 121-year history.
"I’ve left the place on a really high note, on a bang," he continued.
"Even just for me, the change needed to come. I’ve been there a long time, I needed the change for myself as well and to go and get experience from guys who have got to that next level.
"For example, Johnny Sexton, Jamie Heaslip, guys who have played in the Lions team. It was just a decision for me, you know.
"Leaving by winning and beating Leinster, the team I was going to, it was kind of a funny feeling.
"But I don’t know, it was just incredible for Connacht because they hadn’t won silverware ever. To do that in my time I’ve been with them, is definitely memorable."